Light Reading

Brocade Weaves Software-Based Networking Strategy

Mitch Wagner
6/17/2014
50%
50%

Brocade sees network virtualization as essential to its transition from a hardware provider serving primarily enterprise customers to a software provider with a telco focus.

Brocade's business was split 50-50 between the enterprise and cloud three years ago. Now, it's moved to 75-25 cloud versus enterprise. And the future lies with telcos, says Kelly Herrell, VP and GM of Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD)'s Software Networking Business Unit.

Likewise, the company is moving from being a leading storage networking hardware vendor to a software-based data networking provider. A big driver for that change was Brocade's 2012 acquisition of Vyatta. Herrell had been CEO of Vyatta. (See Brocade Buys Vyatta for Software Routing Smarts and Brocade's Datacenter Push Paying Off.)

NFV is key to Brocade's vision. NFV gives carriers the freedom to provision customer networks inside the telco data center rather than having to install expensive appliances on customer premises, Herrell says.

NFV also helps carriers move to distributed, smaller data centers, rather than bigger, more centralized facilities. Carriers are locating data centers in central offices and everywhere they have real estate, moving to an optimal NFV model of tens of thousands of data centers throughout the carrier's coverage area, Herrell says.

Kelly Herrell

This transition is part of the shift in data center buying power, from the enterprise to application cloud providers such as Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), Rackspace Hosting (NYSE: RAX), and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) buying on behalf of enterprises, to carriers, Herrell says.

Brocade is trying to win that market by evolving a set of software components as a platform. "It spreads over the racks of servers as a layer of middleware," Herrell says.

Traditionally, network hardware and server hardware were distinct, but virtualization is driving network capabilities into server hardware. Virtual servers replace a physical cable connecting the server and switch with a vSwitch in the hypervisor.

"This started hooking up in 2010. That's when networking started permeating the server," Herrell says. "Once you had more and more virtualized apps in the servers, you needed more and more network logic." In following years, Layer 3-7 functionality such as load balancing and firewall migrated to the server. OpenStack's Neutron provided orchestration, moving from the cloud stack to the network stack. The OpenDaylight OpenFlow-based SDN controller provides management. (See Brocade Bridges SDN & MPLS.)

"We've been working very methodically to create a software networking platform," Herrell says. The platform is based on the Brocade Vyatta Virtual Router software.

The platform is based on three layers: The Services layer is based on the Vyatta Router and vADX load balancer and application delivery controller. The Control layer is where OpenDaylight comes into play. And Orchestration uses the OpenStack cloud stack.

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Network architects aiming to upgrade their networks to support agile, open, virtualized services in the 21st century need to consider new criteria when choosing between technology suppliers.
Live Streaming Video
BTE 2015 Sponsor Keynote: HP
Dr. Prodip Sen, CTO, Network Functions Virtualization, HP
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat Demo

7|2|15   |   10:53   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Nicolas Lemieux demonstrates how Red Hat is driving innovation through open source communities.
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat's Approach to OpenStack Adoption

7|2|15   |   5:17   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Radhesh Balakrishnan outlines his company's open source strategy for both enterprises and telcos.
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Goes Mobile With vEPC

7|2|15   |   1:12   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Gabriel Brown discusses results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade that shows a clear commitment by mobile operators to move quickly to virtual EPC deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Business Sense of SDN

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Results of a Brocade-sponsored survey show that CSPs have a clear sense of SDN use cases but are wrestling with the business case. Sterling Perrin of Heavy Reading looks behind the numbers.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Will Be Here Sooner Than You Think

7|2|15   |   2:22   |   (0) comments


Forget the usual ten-year cycle for new technologies – NFV will be a core part of CSP networks in five years, based on results of a Brocade-sponsored survey, says Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell.
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Gains Traction With CSPs

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro of Heavy Reading analyzes results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade showing that CSPs are getting serious about making the transition to the New IP era.
LRTV Custom TV
It's (Real) Time for Analytics

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Jim Hodges looks at how CSPs say they plan to use analytics to deploy new services in real time as part of The New IP, based on results of a survey sponsored by Brocade.
LRTV Documentaries
IoT in Action

6|30|15   |   1:39   |   (8) comments


Two co-workers discuss the benefits of IoT technology.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson Opens Up on OPNFV

6|30|15   |   14:16   |   (1) comment


Martin Bäckström, VP and head of industry area Datacom at Ericsson, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the emergence of OPNFV, the importance of standards and Ericsson's OPNFV plans.
LRTV Custom TV
NetNumber Founder Discusses NFV/SDN Impact on SP Networks

6|26|15   |   4:15   |   (0) comments


NetNumber Founder Doug Ranalli examines why SPs need a new network infrastructure for service agility. While NFV and SDN are the tools, the old ways of thinking about signaling control are inhibitors. Doug provides his recommendations.
LRTV Custom TV
Orchestrating NFV vCPE Services Across Multivendor Networks

6|26|15   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Nirav Modi provides an overview of vCPE, the fastest-growing NFV use case, showing how Cyan's Blue Planet orchestrates vCPE services across a multivendor infrastructure to rapidly deliver new managed services for business customers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE at LTE Summit Amsterdam 2015

6|26|15   |     |   (0) comments


As one of the leading global telecommunications providers, ZTE presented its cutting-edge technology at LTE World Summit 2015 in Amsterdam. On display at ZTE's booth were the latest R&D achievements in wireless, 5G development, HetNet, deep convergence of FDD and TDD, and RCS/IMD/iSDN/vCN.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Who's Feeding Fiber to LinkNYC Hotspots?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/29/2015
What's a Gigabit Good For?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/1/2015
Colt to Jettison Ailing IT Business
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/30/2015
Eurobites: Activist Investor Takes Stake in AlcaLu
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 6/30/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Casa Systems has been going from strength to strength over the last couple of years. In 2013, it became the first vendor to ship an integrated CCAP device -- the ...
Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
Cats with Phones